Sunday, October 28, 2007

Reid Prize to Wiecek, The Birth of the Modern Constitution

News from the American Society for Legal History meeting:

The John Phillip Reid Prize for the best book in legal history published during the calendar year 2006 was awarded to William M.Wiecek for The Birth of the Modern Constitution: The United States Supreme Court, 1941-1953, which is volume 12 of the Oliver Wendell Holmes Devise History of the Supreme Court of the United States.
The Committee said of Wiecek's book:
The Birth of the Modern Constitution is characterized by the comprehensiveness, attention to sources, and concern for detail that we have come to associate with the Holmes Devise series. In addition, it reflects a wide and deep reading of the huge volume of scholarly literature that has been written about the Court during the fourteen years it studies and offers judicious judgments on the issues raised by that scholarship. Above all, Wiecek's volume is highly readable, displays a singular ability to distill and explain complex legal issues in an easily understood fashion, and has a clear interpretative focus. Wiecek makes a clear and convincing argument that the Court was in a period of profound transition between 1941 and 1953, and his volume provides one of the best contexts for understanding the jurisprudential challenges and shifts the Court encountered between the late-nineteenth and mid-twentieth century. Future teachers of constitutional law will be much in William Wiecek's debt.